Why Your Student Shouldn't Go To College Next Year

Before you know it, it’s time to start looking at colleges. The pressure is on--college fair after college fair, thousands of brochures, late-nights up researching the endless choices for majors; all while taking finals and trying to finish off high school. At this point in life, high school graduates are still in the process of figuring out who they are and understanding the world, but they are simultaneously forced into making the biggest decision of their life. What if going directly into college directly after completing high school isn’t the best choice? The benefits of taking a Gap Year are well-noted and have been statistically proven--see why many parents and students regard taking a Gap Year as one of the wisest decisions that they made in their life.

Taking A Gap Year Creates a Buffer

Let’s face it, your student is exhausted. Staying up until the late hours of the night to finish homework, getting up early to go to class, staying after school to participate in extracurricular activities--it’s easy to get burnt out. A three month summer break between finishing high school and starting college is not enough time to fully recover and prepare for the next hurdle. Going to college is a huge feat, walking straight into college-level courses, without giving your freshman enough time to prepare themselves can lead to an unfavorable outcome. College courses are tough and on a completely different level than the courses that your student encountered in high school. In college, students are entirely on their own for determining their schedules, sitting through long lectures, learning how to take notes, prepping themselves for tests, and balancing their personal life. It takes a lot of discipline and independence. Many freshmen in college underperform, and fail to meet their expectations. According to the American Gap Association, 88% of individuals who successfully completed a gap year program reported receiving at least a B in their first year of college. The extra time that a gap year provides allows students the opportunity to prepare themselves and recuperate from all the work they’ve just completed. This allows them to go into college more focused, and mentally prepared for higher academic challenges.

Thai Girl

Students Have More Time To Figure Out Who They Are

At 18, did you know what you wanted to do with your life? High School Graduates are pressured into making vital decisions that will impact them for the rest of their life. Coming straight from college with little opportunity to explore and understand different career opportunities, students are essentially guessing what field they should go into. From health sciences to business, options for new students are endless. Many students end up choosing a path, and funneling all of their time and effort into that field. What if that ends up being the wrong choice and it’s too late to switch? According to the current edition of The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey, and for the eighth straight year, less than half of US workers are satisfied with their jobs. A Gap Year gives students the opportunity to see more of the world and different opportunities that there are for careers. It helps them to formulate a more focused vision for what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

“There is a lot of the pressure is to be “successful,” which many people interpret as becoming ‘wealthy.’ Through this experience, I realized that we should be striving to be happy with our career and to do what we love for the world. Coming out of high school, we lack knowledge about our surroundings--what’s actually around us. Traveling broadens horizons and opens eyes to what is out there. By learning what is out there it really encourages us to continue to help each other, continue to learn about the world and love each other. Taking a Gap Year gave me a more focused vision for what is out there in the world, and what role I wanted to play in it. In Costa Rica and Guatemala, I got see the environment and the geography--it confirmed my interest in environmental science. I got to learn about the different countries infrastructure in a way that was so different than just reading books. I always knew that I wanted to help other people, but this opportunity helped me see the different ways I could go about that, and what I could do for the world in the long-term.” -Violeta Calderon, Current Gap Year Volunteer

In a survey by the American Gap Association, 86% of individuals who completed a Gap Year expressed satisfaction with their jobs. Students who take a Gap Year have a longer time to discover who they are, and what they want to do for the world. By taking a Gap Year to volunteer abroad, students have the opportunity to explore and learn from the world around them and introspect while serving others.

Students Explore And Understand The World

The best way to learn about the world is to see it for yourself. Through traveling, students have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and understand the world. The world becomes their textbook. The American Gap Association Survey found that traveling with a structured program produced the highest satisfaction rate among students who took a Gap Year.

Guatemala, Costa Rica, Morocco, India, Thailand, Tanzania--each contains a unique culture to learn from, and with Cross-Cultural Solutions, we make it easy for a student to dive right in. Imagine taking a personal pilgrimage to explore religious traditions around the world—traveling from Morocco to India and then to Thailand to learn about Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism first-hand, all while serving others along the way. Students become fully immersed in the culture, language, and community dynamics in every country that they visit.

Travel

Incredible Service Opportunities with CCS

On a CCS Gap Year, your student will make a difference. They’ll provide support and an invaluable cultural exchange by working with our local partners. Our volunteers work in many different areas of service, helping with sustainable projects. We work to match their skills and interests with the current needs of the local community. Cross-Cultural Solutions Gap Year volunteers go beyond surface-level exchanges by working alongside local community members and learning about important social and cultural issues. They return inspired with a sense of responsibility and personal agency, knowing they can continue to serve the world as change agents, global citizens, and informed leaders.

With pressure from society, you may feel the urge to push your student directly into college and finish as soon as possible, but what’s the rush? Sometimes, the best things in life take time and focused effort. Giving your student the opportunity to grow as an individual, discover the world, serve communities of high-needs, and truly understand what they want to do in life could be the best decision that you ever make.

Girl in Tanzania

A Gap Year with CCS creates a meaningful experience with lessons that last a lifetime. Learn how you can have the most meaningful experience with a gap year with CCS.

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